How to Make a Hedgehog Highway (And Why You Should!)
Larkfleet’s new homes in Cambrigeshire are looking after the wildlife!
Did you know that hedgehogs are the UK’s favourite wild animal? So says several surveys, at any rate. It’s not hard to work out why. They are very cute prickly characters, and industrious too – they travel around a mile every night searching for food! The only spiny mammals in Britain, hedgehogs famously protect themselves from predators by rolling into a ball and erecting their spines.
However, somewhat shockingly, Britain’s hedgehog population has halved to less than a million in the last 20 years. This is mostly due to the fact their habitat is being eroded due to agricultural change. Hedgehog Highways are needed and Larkfleet is ensuring that our new homes in Cambridgeshire have them.
What can we do?
Hedgehogs need to roam, but in order to do so safely, they need safe passages that avoid busy human roads. A hedgehog highway is a series of holes in walls and fences that allow hedgehogs to pass freely between adjacent gardens, parks and other outside spaces without having to cross a road.
At Larkfleet’s new homes in Cambridgeshire, Harriers Rest, in Wittering, gaps have been created in all the garden fences to create an extensive hedgehog highway. The decision was taken to come to the aid of hedgehogs in the area after a local resident advised our Site Manager of their plight. The gaps are approximately 5 inches square, so big enough for a hedgehog to pass through, but too small to pose a danger to children or household pets. We recognise it is our duty as a home builder to do our bit to protect our country’s wildlife and mitigate the environmental impact of our developments. Hedgehog highways are an example of a simple, but effective way of doing just that.
Hedgehog highways aren’t just a good idea for new developments. You can make your own today! Make a hole at ground level on each side of your garden by cutting a hole in the bottom of your fence or removing a brick from the bottom of a wall. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, you could dig a shallow tunnel under your fence, wall or gate and push a soil pipe through. Or, head down to your local DIY shop or garden centre and ask for some hedgehog friendly fencing (that’s a thing now!) or choose a hedgehog-accessible hedge instead. Just make sure you talk to your neighbours before you start making holes or digging up their garden! Hopefully you will inspire the people around you to extend your highway even further and give your local hedgehogs more room to roam.
Make a sign
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society sells small ‘Hedgehog Highway’ signs, which you can buy to signpost your highway. You could make your own, or get the children to draw one. While it’s fun to think of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and her hedgehog friends following the signs, in reality the signs are for other humans, to let them know what the holes are for so they don’t block or fill them up.
Register your highway
Hedgehog Street is home to the ‘Big hedgehog map’ and it’s where you can register your hedgehog highway to help those studying hedgehogs understand how and where the highways are having a positive impact.